It was a night of firsts: the first time a video was projected onto the iconic glass-and-marble façade of the United Nations Headquarters, and the first time tweets from the public were cast onto the building, turning it into an interactive Twitter wall.
These eye-catching events took place on the evening of 22 November to launch the music video for “One Voice”, a track produced by internationally renowned musician David Guetta. The song, written and performed by singer Mikky Ekko, was developed especially for the UN as part of a global campaign to raise awareness and funds for humanitarian aid.
Mr. Guetta, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos all attended the event. Thousands of social media users from around the globe also participated.
“Music is a powerful way to connect and to bring people together,” Mr. Guetta said. “Together we can use our voices to make a real difference for people in need around the world.”
“One Voice” was recorded as part of The World Needs More__, a global campaign that enables social media users to raise funds for humanitarian action. Launched on 19 August, the campaign allows people to finish the sentence “The world needs more” with sponsored words from a long list, including “empowerment”, “peace” and “education”. For every word shared on social media or through www.worldhumanitarianday.org, US$1 is donated to humanitarian aid.
Supporters in the United States can also donate $10 by texting “ONEVOICE” to 90999, and visitors to the website can donate an amount of their choice.
“I am so honoured to be part of this campaign,” said Mr. Guetta. “If we can make a change just by saying what the world needs now and raise money to help the UN – wow. That’s incredible.”
The music video shows words from the campaign – including “strength”, “cooperation” and “inclusion” – projected against the faces of people from all over the world, including children and aid workers. Friday’s event saw those words and images flash against the landmark 39-storey UN building in midtown Manhattan. Afterwards, supporters’ tweets were cast onto the façade.
The video’s launch was timed to raise additional funds for relief efforts in the Philippines, where Typhoon Haiyan killed thousands of people and left millions homeless.
“We know that humanitarian needs are growing and that if we are to meet those rising needs we must do things differently,” Ms. Amos said. “We have to keep engaging with new partners and supporters. This campaign is a chance to do that, and we are grateful to David Guetta for lending his voice and talent to this cause.”
The event was streamed on Mr. Guetta’s Facebook page; his 47 million Facebook fans and 13 million Twitter followers make him one of the most followed people in the world.
The campaign will continue until 31 December.